all-about-eve

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all-about-eve

ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

In this classic tale of betrayal and ambition, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) is an aspiring actress who cultivates friendships with three powerful show business figures -- playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), director Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill) and aging Broadway star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Posing as a devoted fan of Margo, Eve aims to supplant her. Broadway critic Addison DeWitt sizes up Eve for what she is and becomes her mentor. Eve ultimately achieves her goal of Broadway stardom, leaving a trail of bitterness and resentment in her wake. Bette Davis is said to have based the character of Margo on legendary film actress Talullah Bankhead.

The impressive cast includes: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Thelma Ritter, and Marilyn Monroe.

The Best Picture in 1950. Fourteen Oscar nominations; six wins, (Best Director, Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Writing, Costume Design, and Sound).

#16 on the AFI Top 100.

Writer/Director, Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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Best Picture Oscar Winner / Best Picture Index

Promotional tag line... "It's all about women---and their men!"

Famous Quote... "Buckle your seat belts; It's going to be a bumpy night!"

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all-about-eve

The basic story involves a great, but aging Broadway actress, Margo Channing (Davis), who takes in a female fan, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) only to have this ambitious, aspiring actress take over her life. The witty screenplay, by director Mankiewicz, was taken from the story, "The Wisdom of Eve", by Mary Orr.

Margo Channing learns the hard way that sometimes in life, what a situation looks like in a moment of time, isn't what it is in reality. After meeting a female fan, Eve, who seems to idolize her, Margo hires Eve in the position of personal secretary and aid. Eve however, slowly reveals her true colors and uses this job to her own advantage. Eve soon uses her position to promote herself, by sending birthday wishes in behalf of Margo, to Margo's true love, director Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill), while personally arranging a party for him. This act makes Margo livid.

By such schemes, and other lies, she manages to become Margo's understudy. When Margo misses a show, Eve gladly takes her place, and receives a rave review from taken critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders), who also makes rude, snide comments about aging actresses, such as Margo.

Eve never stops scheming, even at the engagement party for Margo and Bill Simpson. At this party, playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), & his wife, Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), who are both great, long time friends of Margo of course are there. Lloyd Richards had written many of the plays that made Margo a star. Eve boldly gets Karen into her clutches, and tries to force Karen to get her husband, Richard, to give the lead in his new play to her, and not to Margo. Only after Margo tells Lloyd that she is retiring, does the back-stabbing Eve get the lead. Even the critic, Addison DeWitt, wakes up to who Eve really is, and tells her that he is on to how she operates.

The film ends with a powerful, unforgettable scene. Without giving it away, it's the logical culmination of all that came before. The scene will stick with you long time after the film is over.

The film is a classic because of its accurate, if bitter, look at Broadway life, clever dialogue, and great acting, particularly by Davis. The film is known for a great line. At one point, Davis advises friends at her party, "Buckle your seat belts; It's going to be a bumpy night!" This is my favorite scene in the film.

This film provides one of Marilyn Monroe's first screen appearances. Appropriately enough, she plays an ambitious starlet.

Original casting... Claudette Colbert who had to back out due to health problems.

During the filming, Davis and on-screen lover, Gary Merrill, became an item, despite the fact that they were both married to someone else at the time. They both got divorced from their former spouses and married each other after the film wrapped.

If you enjoyed ALL ABOUT EVE you may like SOAP DISH, BOWFINGER, THE PLAYER, and/or GET SHORTY.